Pagans: A Modern Play in Two Conversations (1915)
Thomas MacDonagh's Third Play, Pagans (1915)
Pagans is Thomas MacDonagh’s third play after When the Dawn Has Come (1908) and Metempsychosis (1912) and was first produced in April 1915 by the Irish Theatre in Hardwicke Street for a run of six nights. It is the story of husband and wife, Mr. John Fitzmaurice and Mrs. Frances Fitzmaurice, who have been separated for three years and who reunite in her Dublin house to realize that, despite their love for eachother, they can’t make a fresh start. The play is almost a dramatic version of MacDonagh’s poem ‘John-John’ (Songs of Myself) with the protagonist’s final nationalist speech as arguably one the major structural revision (Norstedt). The play is generally read as mirroring MacDonagh’s personal transition to military separatism (White), particularly due to its epilogue when John accepts the separation from his wife from his wife and announcing how
“My writings have been only the prelude to my other work. […] Sooner that you think, Frances, politics will be dropped here, and something better will take their place […] You will not know yourself in the Ireland that we shall make here.” (Pagans)
The character of John was played by Thomas MacDonagh’s brother John, active in the Irish Theatre as actor and manager.
MacDonagh. Thomas. Pagans. A Modern Play in Two Conversations. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1920. Print.
Norstedt, Johann A.. Thomas MacDonagh. A Critical Biography. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1980. Print.
White, Lawrence William. "MacDonagh, Thomas". Dictionary of Irish Biography. (Ed.) James McGuire, James Quinn. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Web.
Text Item Type Metadata
- Date Added
- May 23, 2015
- The Literary Career of Thomas MacDonagh
- Item Type
- Drama, Irish Theatre, Thomas MacDonagh
- Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916), “Pagans: A Modern Play in Two Conversations (1915),” Revival to Revolution: The Literary Career of Thomas MacDonagh, accessed September 29, 2020, https://revival2revolution.omeka.net/items/show/5.